Horrifying Amount Of Fentanyl Seized During Major Investigation

Enough Fentanyl For Millions Of Lethal Doses Seized
Nearly A Half-Ton Of Meth Also Seized, Along With 48½ Pounds Of Heroin, In Cartel Investigation Involving 14 Different Local, State & Federal Agencies


An investigation that the Jackson County Drug Task Force and federal Homeland Security officials initiated more two years ago culminated last week in 39 defendants being indicted for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute more than 335 kilograms (738½ pounds) of methamphetamine and 22 kilograms (48½ pounds) of heroin. Especially alarming was the amount of fentanyl also seized: 10.4 kilograms (22.9 pounds), enough for millions—literally millions—of potentially lethal doses.

“This operation took a significant amount of illegal drugs off the street and disrupted a large Mexican drug-trafficking operation in the Kansas City metropolitan area,” the interim U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Teresa Moore, said in a release the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued to announce the federal grand jury indictments. 

Life-Saving Investigation

The DOJ release focused on the meth and heroin confiscated. COMBAT Director Vince Ortega stressed that just two milligrams of fentanyl is usually enough to kill a person. That would be only seven hundred thousandths of an ounce.

“You add it all up and this investigation prevented a great deal of poison from being distributed in our community,” Ortega said. “You have not only this tremendous amount of drugs being seized, but also the drugs these individuals would have continued to traffic in Kansas City and Jackson County in the future, if they had not been stopped.

“When you look at how potentially lethal some of these drugs are, investigations like this save lives.”

Local, State & Federal Cooperation

While the Jackson County Drug Task Force, funded almost entirely by COMBAT, took a lead role in the investigation, it was but one of eight agencies from Missouri and Kansas to participate. They joined forces with six different federal agencies, including the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Because it also involved state and local authorities from Minnesota and Texas, the scope of the investigation literally stretched the length of the United States north to south.

Federal officials refer to such a wide-ranging investigation as an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation.

“This investigation is a great example of our local law enforcement agencies, detectives and agents checking their egos at the door and working together as a team,” said Dan Cummings, Officer-In-Charge of the Jackson County Drug Task Force. “I don’t have the words to say how proud I am of the sergeants and detectives assigned to this task force.”

Cummings noted the 335 kilograms of methamphetamine mentioned in the DOJ news release doesn’t include another 120 pounds seized over the two-year course of the investigation.

Meth Life Destroying

Sounding The Alarm—Again

HSI led a “takedown” operation June 8 that involved 16 search warrants being executed. The takedown involved 140 officers and agents form 14 different local, state and federal agencies. They seized on that day alone these drugs:

  • 84.4 kilograms of methamphetamine
  • 10.4 kilograms of fentanyl
  • 4.5 kilograms of heroin
  • 3.1 kilograms of unknown pills
  • 687 Xanax Pills
  • 7.6 kilograms of cocaine
  • 10.5 kilograms of marijuana

 “When Vince says poison, that’s 100 percent accurate,” stated Cummings. “We’re talking about nearly 23 pounds of fentanyl here, and we don’t yet know how much fentanyl might be in these pills that were confiscated.

“And, as we’ve been sounding the alarm for years now, just a tiny fraction of an ounce of fentanyl can kill you.”

Deadly Math

A two milligram speck of fentanyl can be lethal. Just do the deadly math:

  • There are a million milligrams per kilogram.
  • Therefore, the 10.4 kilograms of fentanyl seized June 8 equates to 10,400,000 milligrams or enough fentanyl for more than 5 MILLION potential lethal doses.

Katherine Greer, the federal OCDETF Special Agent-In-Charge of the Kansas City area of responsibility, wasn’t the least bit hyperbolic in calling the drugs seized “deadly.” She described the cooperation demonstrated in this investigation as crucial “to continuing our work toward a safer community without the significant dangers associated with these illegal substances.

Weapons Seized

In addition to the drugs, the warrants also resulted in seizing cash, five firearms, a 3D printer with manufactured ghost gun parts and a liquid methamphetamine conversion lab.

Last week’s federal indictment, in addition to drug trafficking and weapon charges, also includes money laundering and would, according to the DOJ release, “require the defendants to forfeit to the government $4,718,700 which represents the proceeds of the alleged drug-trafficking conspiracy and criminal enterprise.”

The average street price of methamphetamine, the DOJ estimates, is $300 per ounce, while heroin sells for $1,500 an ounce.

For more details, including the names of those indicted, you can read the DOJ news release in its entirety. > DOJ RELEASE

  1. Get The Fentanyl Facts_365
    'If you can see it...
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    • How is fentanyl used in medical treatments?
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    Get the answers. Spread the word. Warn those you know and love!

Agencies Involved

The agencies that participating in this investigation included:

  • Jackson County Drug Task Force
  • Kansas City, Missouri Police Department
  • Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department
  • Independence, Missouri Police Department
  • Kansas Bureau of Investigation
  • Missouri Highway Patrol
  • Kansas Highway Patrol
  • Clay County (Missouri) Sheriff’s Office

Other States

  • Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehensions
  • Minnesota State Patrol
  • Olmsted County (Minnesota) Sheriff’s Office
  • Texas Department of Public Safety


  • Homeland Security Investigations
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • Drug Enforcement Administration
  • FBI
  • IRS-Criminal Investigation
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
  • U.S. Marshals Service